The best masters subjects to help your career

By and large, having a university degree is always preferable to not having one. However taking a masters is an important decision. Our guide shares some ideas for the best masters subjects to help your career and looks at some masters graduate jobs.

Postgraduate education has a positive effect on the livelihood of students who complete a masters degree. Evidence suggests a masters degree contributes to a higher salary than someone would earn with an undergraduate degree.

The amount varies a great deal according to the subject. However the most recent published research by the Higher Education Policy Institute calculates this difference to be 18% on average.

Will a masters make me more employable and improve my job prospects?

The best masters subjects to help your career at the present time depends on lots of factors. This is difficult to quantify, but the accepted source of research is the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) and they conduct annual surveys. They also measure the performance of individual Universities by reported salary, but only at undergraduate level.

The average high skilled starting salary for graduates in the following employment sectors is as follows.

  • Medicine & Dentistry £35,000
  • Veterinary science £31,000
  • Mathematical sciences £28,000
  • Engineering & Technology £28,000
  • Computer science £27,000
  • Social studies £26,000
  • Subjects allied to medicine £25,000
  • Physical sciences £25,000
  • Business & Administrative studies £25,000
  • Historical & Philosophical studies £24,500
  • Education £24,500
  • Architecture, Building & Planning £24,000
  • Languages £24,000
  • Agriculture & related subjects £23,500
  • Biological sciences £23,000
  • Law £22,000
  • Mass communications & documentation £21,000

A selection of popular masters subjects to help your career

A masters in Healthcare

Healthcare organisations offer a wide variety of careers in public health, coupled with funding through local authorities and the NHS. Private sector employers hire public health practitioners to support their workforce.

Companies involved in developing new treatments require public health professionals. Staff conduct consumer research and testing in order to prove efficacy. Likewise, employees seek progression by specialization. Additional qualifications at masters level strengthen patient facing medical roles.

For example, here is a collection of careers that are available to public health professionals: -

  • Health and safety adviser
  • Environmental health practitioner
  • Health visitor
  • Nutritionist
  • Hygienist
A masters in Psychology

A masters degree in psychology is a very common qualification among marketers and PR experts. Subsequently, all individuals working in areas where they need to understand emotions and how people think and feel according to stimulus.

A psychology masters degree offers skills used in teaching and lecturing. For instance, methodologies to explain the way we learn.

In particular, working with police and the military is an obvious pathway for candidates with skills in clinical psychology, health and forensic science.

Organisations are always looking to understand better how to improve productivity. With this in mind, the ultimate goal is creating positive working environments where employees feel empowered and supported.

Exercise and sport is a very important area of focus for psychology. Winning teams build self-belief as well as tiny improvements in physical performance.

A masters in Law

Students determined to become a barrister or solicitor find the salary rewards very attractive. The annual survey by High Fliers shows that:

  • Salaries for trainee solicitors at the country’s top law firms have increased to £46,000
  • The highest published graduate starting salaries for 2021 include law firms White & Case (£50,000), Clifford Chance (£48,000), Baker McKenzie (£48,000) and Linklaters (£47,000).

A Solicitor is an expert in legal advice across a number of areas, such as buying a house or starting a company. If you need to make a will, end a marriage, get out of police custody or seek compensation, then you will probably need to contact a solicitor. The legal training they have means they are in the best position to represent you and offer you legal advice.

It is important to realize that all advice is always provided to you on condition of strictest confidence. Rest assured that anything you discuss or agree to with your legal advisor is done with your permission. Depending upon who you consult with the cost of that advice can vary a lot.

Training to become a solicitor usually starts with the completion of the Legal Practice Course (LPC) or the Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL). This is combined with two years’ work experience on a training contract. Building up knowledge and experience, with the result that over time they aquire the competence to to manage a caseload.

A masters in Economics

Students who study a masters in economics can look forward to many career pathways. All sectors of business welcome masters graduates in economics. While your first job role may not be Senior Economist in time you can look forward to career success and a respectable salary.

A masters in economics from a reputable UK university is a great investment. Some leading research led institutions share online the ratio of applications to admissions so that candidates get a realistic picture of their chances of securing a place.

A wide range of UK universities offer economics. It is often coupled with business masters degrees, and this is where students who want to become confident in analysis and statistical research can still benefit from these core subjects.

By completing a joint masters degree you will acquire additional skills in business management and associated topics such as finance, marketing or entrepreneurship.

Potential employers welcome a masters degree in economics. For this reason a qualified candidate is a highly sought-after individual. Evidence for this comes from the employability surveys that regularly show the average salaries achieved by economics graduates is among the top 5% earnings bands.

Research conducted by the IFS in 2018 (and published by the BBC) showed the average earnings five years after graduation for Economics graduates was in the top two groups. A more detailed earnings analysis has now been undertaken as part of the UK Government LEO study.

Careers in Art, Design and Creative Arts

The majority of individuals working in the creative arts sector are hired by SME’s or self-employed for the most part. This is typical in most modern companies, so roles in the creative sector require highly adaptable individuals who can multitask and redeploy their skills into new areas and interesting challenges.

Using creative talents coupled with business skills to see problems differently is a valuable asset. The leading global companies that dominate the consumer services sector are creative adaptations of an existing idea to make it better.

The creative arts sector is closely woven into modern business. To that end creativity is a key component of successful long-term employment. Being able to apply creative skills in an area that can be monetized shows how the industry has evolved. These abilities are nurtured through the completion of masters degree courses.

The creative arts sector has developed beyond jobs that were once only associated with art schools. For example, many mainstream careers in creative arts combine the use of technology with an aptitude for design and visualisation.

In the past web programming was classified specialist skill, with the result that it was the responsibility of a computer software expert. In any event, this attitude has changed,. The role has evolved to become mainstream. Similarly, a database expert has its origins in science but its application in business.

Salaries within the public sector

Graduate salaries within Government departments are at the higher end of the scales published above. Moreover, the job security and benefits packages that are included in careers within Government Departments are very good. Though the sector may seem rather traditional it encourages graduates to build long term careers, and the opportunities for progression up the ladder are very good. Local Government salaries are lower, but they also attract the same levels of support and welfare.

In the light of the recent challenges, there is a lot of attention on careers with the emergency services, police and the NHS. There are always shortages of personnel for roles in these sectors, and they also provide valuable employment in less economically active areas of the UK.